Industry

Sportsbike slowdown

Riders turn away from crotch rockets

We were shocked to read that sports bike sales were down nearly 44% in October. But not that shocked.

As far as the cause of the decline is concerned, we have our opinions but for a true barometer reading we rang multi-franchise outfit, Fowlers. The Bristol-based dealers sell Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Triumph and KTM.

‘We’re still selling reasonable numbers of bikes, it’s just the types of bikes we’re selling have changed,’ said a spokesman. ‘People are spending less than before, like in other areas of retailing. Customer are letting their budgets decide the bikes for them so in a certain sense they’re buying deals not bikes. It’s like the head ruling the heart. I suppose.’

We think there are two other factors at work; rubbish road conditions and draconian speeding penalties. But it looks like it took a bit of an economic blip to make customers realize there were other options out there to have fun on. In all it’s got to be viewed as a good thing if it broadens people’s biking horizons, hasn’t it? Fastest is not always first.

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